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Oxford Retail Futures Conference – call for papers

Understanding the impact of emergent technologies on retail business models, processes and places

The Oxford Institute of Retail Management, Saïd Business School, is holding its annual Oxford Retail Futures Conference in Oxford on 10 December 2019.

This year’s topic is ‘Understanding the impact of emergent technologies on retail business models, processes and places’.


Traditional forms of retailing have been significantly affected by the growth of emergent and often disruptive digital technologies. The rhetoric suggests apocalyptic impacts on existing forms of retailing as well as higher costs arising from integration and transformation strategies. The reality suggests that the benefits of emergent technologies may be more nuanced and contested than previously anticipated. Similarly, the amount and characteristics of data generated by internet users, mobile devices and sensors and organisational and integrative IT systems continues to provide both challenges as well as opportunities for retail firms.

The task continues to comprise the extent to which emergent technologies and big data-driven analysis can genuinely deliver benefits and outcomes which carry real business value, including how such technologies can improve business performance and competitiveness.

Topic Selection

In this call for papers or extended abstracts (minimum one page of A4), we would like to capture the current state of the art in areas related to understanding and evaluating the impact of emergent technologies upon retail business models and processes in the retail sector, including the consequences for places. Submissions may include theoretical and conceptual work, as well as examples from practice, but should focus on outcomesimpact, and/or managerial implications. The work of early researchers and doctoral students are particularly invited. Results of analysis of large data sets such as those of the ESRC Data Initiative’s Consumer Data Research Centre (https://data.cdrc.ac.uk/) are also welcome.

The call is focused, non-exclusively, on the following topics (applied in the retail context, both at the store-end and in the extended retail value/supply chain):

  • Analysing the impact of emergent technologies upon customer shopping behaviour
  • Consequences of AI and machine learning for the development of more effective customer insight and retail business analytics
  • Ethical aspects of new and emergent technologies for retailers
  • Evaluating the impact of augmented reality and other instore technologies on the repurposing of physical retail spaces
  • Impacts of new data sources and emerging analytical methods on the efficiency of corporate decision-making by retailers, suppliers and third-party business service firms
  • Implications of data-driven research in retailing for public policy
  • Robotics and retail automation
  • Supply chain consequences of emerging retail distribution networks
  • The evolving technology requirements of omnichannel retailing

Papers submitted will be reviewed by the academic board. Extended abstracts and work in progress are welcome.


  • 09. September 2019 – draft abstract/paper submission
  • 30 September 2019 – notification of abstract/paper acceptance
  • 29 November 2019 – submission of final papers/extended abstracts

Members of the Conference Academic Board

  • Dr Richard Cuthbertson, OXIRM, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK
  • Dr Jonathan Reynolds, OXIRM, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK

Contact Details

The conference is being organised jointly by the Oxford Institute of Retail Management, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC).

For enquiries, please contact OXIRMEnquiries@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

Registration fee

The registration fee (£195) can be waived for students and presenters.

Registration details and links will be provided nearer the date.